Virtual Events

Virtual Class: Wendy Walsh - Continuing the Journey with Dante's Purgatorio (via Zoom)

Tuesday, January 5, 2021 - 3:30pm to 5:30pm

Eight Tuesdays: January 5 - February 23, 2021

Hosted via Zoom • Live • 3:30-5:30pm PT • $240

The course is taught in English with frequent references to Dante’s brilliant and evocative Italian.


Continue the journey with Dante on Zoom! Join Wendy Walsh for the reading and study of Purgatorio, the second cantica of Dante’s Commedia.

Dante and Virgil begin their climb of the immense Mountain of Purgatory in the middle of the unpopulated waters of the Southern Hemisphere. Before reaching Purgatory proper, they travel through Ante Purgatory and then up through the seven terraces, each one reflecting one of the seven deadly sins. Their goal is the Earthly Paradise at the top of the mountain and along the way they will meet the many saved souls who are happily purifying themselves for their ascent to Paradise.  Purgatory is “where the soul of man is cleansed,/ made worthy to ascend to Heaven. (dove l’umano spirito si purga/e di salire al ciel diventa degno” Canto I, 5-6.)

Wendy Walsh has a PhD in Italian Literature from UC Berkeley. She has been teaching Italian language and literature since 1979.


Book Passage & Left Coast Writers: America After November 3rd (Virtual Event)

Monday, October 26, 2020 - 5:00pm

Presented with Left Coast Writers®
Monday, October 26, 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET • Virtual Event

A special thanks to Travelers’ Tales and Executive Editor Larry Habegger for hosting this event!

This special event will introduce Left Coast Writers® to the broader community and showcase the many programs that it offers to authors. As part of the evening LCW, is hosting a special discussion that will look at the future of our country through the eyes of two authors who have written recently about the political crisis our country is facing.

America After November 3rd: A Discussion Led by Mort Rosenblum and Bill Petrocelli

Mort Rosenblum is a famed international-affairs reporter for the AP and Intl Herald-Tribune. He is editor of the popular site and author of Saving our World From Trump.

Bill Petrocelli is a lawyer, novelist, bookseller, and author of Electoral Bait & Switch: How the Electoral College Hurts American Voters and What Can Be Done About It.

Left Coast Writers® has been providing support and inspiration to writers in Northern California for more than 17 years. Through its monthly meetings and frequent book events, it provides literary connections, mutual support,readings, writing tips, literary chats, unabashed networking, and great fun. LCW hosts many activities to launch the books of members and explore publishing alternatives. LCW writers are often featured at Book Passage events. Left Coast Writers is led by famed writer, editor, and teacher Linda Watanabe McFerrin.

No Matter What Faith: A Conversation with Anne Lamott and Janine Urbaniak Reid (Virtual Event)

Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 12:00pm

Thursday, October 29, 12:00pm PT/3:00pm ET • Virtual Event

Back by popular demand (and just when we need it most), good friends Anne Lamott and Janine Urbaniak Reid will be talking about what they’ve learned in Covid College and how they manage to get through when what’s happening can’t be happening. Anne will read an excerpt from her upcoming book Dusk, Night, Dawn and Janine will read from The Opposite of Certainty. RSVP above and tune in on Anne Lamott’s Facebook Page at noon on October 29!

Anne Lamott is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Almost Everything; Hallelujah Anyway; Small Victories; Stitches; Help, Thanks, Wow; Some Assembly Required; Grace (Eventually); Plan B; and Traveling Mercies; as well as several novels. A past recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an inductee to the California Hall of Fame, she lives in Northern California.

Janine Urbaniak Reid writes about her imperfect life, what connects us, and addresses the question of what it means to love fiercely in a sometimes dangerous and always uncertain world. She has been published in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and widely syndicated. Hoping to bring humanity into the healthcare discussion by sharing her experience as a mother of son with a brain tumor, she penned a piece for the Post which went viral. She has been interviewed on national news networks, and continues her work as a spokeswoman for healthcare justice. She graduated from the University of California at San Diego and was vice president of a San Francisco public relations firm before she began raising a family, and then writing full time. She lives in Northern California with her family and a motley assortment of pets. She attends St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Marin City: all are welcome.

Conversations with Authors - Elizabeth Strout (Virtual Event)

Sunday, November 8, 2020 - 4:00pm

Sunday, November 8th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with Cathleen Schine

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


A note from Elizabeth:


Elaine, thank you so much for such a lovely evening with Cathy Schine — and thank you to all the readers who watched it; it makes me very happy to think you were all there. Each and every one of you, I give my thanks to.

I would recommend (I am reading it right now) Red Comet by Heather Clark. It’s a new biography about Sylvia Plath, and it is so well written, it falls so easily onto the ears, that it is a joy to read. And it is nice and long, so that is good as well. I also recommend anything by Alice Munro—her stories especially, but anything she has written. And also The Collected Stories by William Trevor—if you are not already familiar with his work, you should try it. It’s quiet and lovely, and very strong.

My very best to all of you!

Elizabeth Strout's latest novel, Olive Again, continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions.

Elizabeth is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Olive Kitteridge, winner of the Pulitzer Prize; Olive, Again, an Oprah’s Book Club pick; Anything Is Possible, winner of the Story Prize; My Name is Lucy Barton, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize; The Burgess Boys, named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post and NPR; Abide with Me, a national bestseller; and Amy and Isabelle, winner of the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize. She has also been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, the International Dublin Literary Award, and the Orange Prize. Her short stories have been published in a number of magazines, including The New Yorker and O: The Oprah Magazine. Elizabeth lives in New York City.

Cathleen Schine's most recent work is the best-selling novel The Grammarians. She is also the author of The Love Letter, Rameau’s Niece, Alice in Bed, To the Birdhouse, The Evolution of Jane, She Is Me, The New Yorkers, The Three Weissmanns of Westport, Fin & Lady, and They May Not Mean To, But They Do. In addition to her novels, she has written articles for The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Sunday Magazine, and The New York Times Book Review, among other publications. Her essays have been included in Best American Essays 2005, Fierce Pajamas, an Anthology of New Yorker Humor, and The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs. She grew up in Westport, Ct. and lives in Venice, California.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Sisters in Crime Fall Showcase (Virtual Event)

Saturday, November 7, 2020 - 12:00pm

Saturday, November 7 • 12:00pm PT / 3:00pm ET • Hosted via Zoom • Free to attend!

Join us for a special virtual showcase featuring eleven Sisters in Crime authors with exciting new work in a range of styles!

Readers and Participants Include:

JoAnn Smith Ainsworth
JoAnn Smith Ainsworth experienced food rationing and black-out sirens as a child. These WWII memories create vivid descriptions of time and place for her award-winning paranormal suspense series, Operation Delphi, wherein the U.S. recruits psychics to hunt down Nazi spies. Her most recent entry in the series is Expect Betrayal. She has a B.A. and M.A.T. in English, and M.B.A. studies.
Daisy Bateman
Daisy Bateman is a mystery lover, cheese enthusiast, world-renowned expert in Why You Should Buy That, and author of Murder Goes to Market. In what passes for normal life, she works in biotech. She lives in Alameda, California with her husband, a puppy, and a cat, only one of whom wears a tuxedo on a regular basis.
Cara Black
Cara Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of 19 books in the Private Investigator Aimée Leduc series, set in Paris. Cara has received multiple nominations for the Anthony and Macavity Awards, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year citation, the Médaille de la Ville de Paris, and invitations to be the Guest of Honor at conferences such as the Paris Polar Crime Festival and Left Coast Crime. Her most recent novel is the standalone thriller Three Hours in Paris.
Diana Chambers
Diana Chambers was born with a book in one hand and a passport in the other. An importing business led to Hollywood scriptwriting, until her characters began demanding their own novels. Her latest is The Star of India, published by Penguin Random House India. She is past president of SinC-NorCal.
Janet Dawson
Janet Dawson writes the 1950s California Zephyr series featuring Zephyrette protagonist Jill McLeod. The fourth book, just published, is Death Above the Line. Janet’s other sleuth is Oakland private eye Jeri Howard, featured in 13 books, most recently The Devil Close Behind.
Heather Haven
Heather Haven has won numerous awards for her Silicon Valley-based Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries, including her most recent mystery, Casting Call for a Corpse; Manhattan-based WWII Persephone Cole Vintage Mysteries; Ringling Brothers’ Circus docu-mystery, Murder Under the Big Top; and Corliss and Other Award-Winning Stories. She and her hubby live with their cat, Ellie, in the foothills of San Jose, California.

Reece Hirsch
Reece Hirsch is the author of six thrillers that draw upon his background as a privacy attorney. He has been a finalist for a Thriller Award and a member of the board of directors of the MWA NorCal chapter. His latest thriller is Dark Tomorrow, the second book in a series featuring FBI Special Agent Lisa Tanchik, who investigates cybercrime.

Margaret Lucke
Margaret Lucke writes tales of love, ghosts, and murder—sometimes all three in one book. She is the author of four novels, most recently House of Desire, and the editor of SinC Norcal’s anthology Fault Lines. Margaret teaches fiction writing classes and has published books on writing craft.
Susan McCormick
Susan McCormick is a cozy mystery writer and doctor who lives in Seattle. She served in the Army for nine years before moving to the Pacific Northwest. Her most recent book is The Fog Ladies: Family Matters. She is also the author of Granny Can’t Remember Me, a lighthearted picture book about Alzheimer’s disease. She is married with two sons and giant Newfoundland dog, Albert.
Gigi Pandian
Gigi Pandian is a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author, breast cancer survivor, and accidental almost-vegan. The child of anthropologists from New Mexico and South India, she was dragged around the world on their research trips, and now writes mysteries that are a cross between Indiana Jones and Agatha Christie, the most recent of which is the novella The Lost Gargoyle of Paris.
Faye Snowden
Faye Snowden is the author of The Killing series (Flame Tree Press) featuring homicide detective Raven Burns. Her short story, One Bullet. One Vote. was published in July in the anthology Low Down Dirty Vote: Vol. 2. Faye writes from her home in Northern California. Learn more about Faye at

Leslie K. Barry - Newark Minutemen (Virtual Event)

Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 7:00pm

Presented with Marin JCC
Thursday, October 29, 7:00pm PT/10:00pm ET • Virtual Event

In between World Wars, during the Great Depression, American democracy was threatened by a shadow Nazi party, complete with a self-proclaimed American Hitler and a 1939 Nuremberg-like rally in New York's Madison Square Garden. Join Marin author Leslie K. Barry for a discussion of her family's incredible true story—and the inspiration for her new novel, Newark Minutemen—that of a Jewish boxer in 1930s New Jersey who was recruited by the Jewish mob and the FBI to go undercover against the rising German-American Nazi party, falling in love with the enemy's daughter along the way.

Conversations with Authors - Anthony Lee Head with Peter Coyote (Virtual Event)

Saturday, November 7, 2020 - 4:00pm

Saturday, November 7th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


A note from Anthony:


Thanks so much to everyone who joined Peter Coyote and me in our discussion today. And a particular thanks to those who submitted so many interesting questions. Writers write to be read, and knowing you are out there showing interest in my novel, Driftwood: Stories from the Margarita Road, sustains debut authors like me. Many, many thanks to Elaine and all the staff at Book Passage who have nurtured my book since its very beginning. And a special thank you to Peter Coyote for his thoughtful and warm interview.

Now more than ever, independent bookstores like Book Passage need our support.  Remember, bookstores are not just a place to buy a book; they are a community service and a community center. Show your support by shopping there.

And, while you’re browsing at Book Passage, here are some of my personal favorite books:



Thanks again,
—Anthony Lee Head

Anthony Lee Head’s debut collection, Driftwood: Stories from the Margarita Road, tells the story of modern-day runaways escaping the rat race and heading to a tropical paradise in search of a fresh start—a timely  antidote for anyone who has grown weary of quarantines and sheltering in place.

Anthony knows firsthand the challenges of the expat lifestyle. In a fit of middle-aged madness, he gave up an established career as a trial lawyer in San Francisco to travel 3500 miles to tropical Mexico, where for a decade he and his wife ran a small hotel and a margarita bar near the Caribbean Sea. That adventure became the inspiration for this book. Anthony now lives in San Rafael, California with his wife and an embarrassingly large number of Mexican rescue dogs and cats. He is currently working on both a memoir and a new novel.

Peter Coyote is the author of the 1960’s counter-culture memoir Sleeping Where I Fall, which received universally excellent reviews and has been in continuous print since 1999. His second book about mentors and the search for wisdom, The Rainman’s Third Cure: An Irregular Education, was nominated as one of the top five non-fiction books published in California in 2015. His third book, Unmasking Your True Self (the Lone Ranger and Tonto Meet the Buddha) combines 50 years of Buddhist practice with acting and uses masks and improv exercises to foster liberation experiences and teach people “how to get out of their own way.” It is forthcoming from Inner Traditions Press, as his first book of poems, The Tongue of a Crow.

Peter has performed as an actor in over 160 films for theaters and TV. He is a double Emmy-Award winning narrator of over 150 documentary films. An ordained Zen Buddhist priest and transmitted teacher, Peter is currently giving live weekly dharma talks on Facebook, preparing for a fourth book called Vernacular Buddhism.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.



Tiffany Shlain with Arianna Huffington - 24/6: Giving up Screens One Day a Week to Get More Time, Creativity, and Connection (Virtual Event)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 5:00pm

In conversation with Arianna Huffington
Tuesday, October 20, 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET • Virtual Event

Winner of The Marshall McLuhan Outstanding Book Award • People’s New Book Worth Reading • Entrepreneur’s 12 Productivity and Time-Management Books to Read

“I’m won over to a day with people, not screens….I tried Shlain’s idea. I highly recommend it.” —The New York Times

“Tiffany Shlain is a modern-day prophet, brilliant and incredibly funny in equal measure...24/6 is timeless and timely wisdom.” — Angela Duckworth, #1 New York Times bestselling author

This eye-opening and “joy to read” (Rosabeth Moss Kanter, bestselling author of Confidence) book demonstrates how turning off screens one day a week can work wonders on your brain, body, and soul.

Do you wish you had more time to do what you love, think deeply, and focus on the people and things that matter most?  By giving up screens one day a week for over a decade, Internet pioneer and renowned filmmaker Tiffany Shlain and her family have gained more time, productivity, connection, and presence.

Shlain takes us on a thought-provoking and entertaining journey through time and technology, introducing a strategy for flourishing in our 24/7 world. Drawn from the ancient ritual of Shabbat, living 24/6 can work for anyone from any background. With humor and wisdom, Shlain shares her story, offering the accessible lessons she has learned and providing a blueprint for how to do it yourself.

“Bolstered with fascinating and germane facts about neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, and the history of the concept of a day of rest” (Publishers Weekly) 24/6 makes the case for incorporating this weekly reset into our 24/7 lives, issuing a call to rebalance  ourselves and our society.

Honored by Newsweek as one of the “Women Shaping the 21st Century,” Tiffany Shlain is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and founder of The Webby Awards. Tiffany’s films and work have received over eighty awards and distinctions including being selected for the Albert Einstein Foundation’s Genius: 100 Visions of the Future. NPR named her UC Berkeley address as one of its best commencement speeches and her films have premiered at top festivals including Sundance. She lectures worldwide on the relationship between technology and humanity. Find out more at and follow @TiffanyShlain.

Arianna Huffington is the founder and CEO of Thrive Global, the founder of The Huffington Post, and the author of fifteen books, including, most recently, Thrive and The Sleep Revolution. In 2016, she launched Thrive Global, a leading behavior change tech company with the mission of changing the way we work and live by ending the collective delusion that burnout is the price we must pay for success.


Available in hardcover and paperback.

Virtual Class: Kerrin Meis - Exploring Eastern Turkey: Art, Culture, and Politics (via Zoom)

Saturday, December 5, 2020 - 1:00pm

Two Saturdays: December 5 & 12 • 1:00-2:30pm PT • $80 • Hosted via Zoom

Travelers to Turkey (actual and virtual) miss the real Turkey. In this class, participants will (virtually) tour through: Ankara, home of the award-winning Archaeological Museum; the Hittite sites of Yazilkaya and Bozakoy with their history-revealing sculpture; Trabzon, home of the Hagia Sophia Church with its priceless Byzantine frescoes and the precariously perched Monastery of Sumela; Erzurum's distinctive Mosque and Madrasa; the ghostly remains of the church of Ani and monasteries hugging the Armenian border; the mind-blowing palace of Ishak Pasha with its conglomeration of architectural styles; Akdamar on Lake Van, home of the 10th-century Cathedral of the Holy Cross with astonishing and amusing relief sculpture; Mardin, the golden city on Syria's border—an architecture student's paradise; captivating Diyarbakir, the unofficial capital of Kurdistan, with its Roman walls, intriguing bazaar, and fascinating Ulu Mosque; Nemrut Dag, home of the monolithic sculptures and tomb of the megalomaniac ruler Antiochus I; Gobekli Tepe, the most important archaeological site extant with finds from 11000 BC; Gazientep with the world's largest and most spectacular collection of Roman mosaics from the sunken city of Zeugma. The "problems" with the Kurds and the Armenian genocide will be addressed.

Hayirli yolculuklar!

Kerrin Meis taught art history at SFSU for ten years and has led study tours in Europe. Her Book Passage classes have been favorites for years.

Conversations with Authors - Jane Smiley (Virtual Event)

Saturday, December 12, 2020 - 4:00pm

Saturday, December 12th, 2020

Online • Live • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET

In conversation with David Francis

Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week for new chats between different authors.


A note from Jane:

Thank you so much for having my friend David Francis and me for a fun talk! I appreciate your efforts, and the way you get our books, and the books of many other authors, out there, into readers' hands.

Books I've been reading lately:

 And I also recommend David Francis's novel, Wedding Bush Road.

—Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley’s latest novel, Perestroika in Paris, is a captivating, brilliantly imaginative story of three extraordinary animals—and a young boy—whose lives intersect in Paris.

Jane is the author of numerous novels, including A Thousand Acres, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, and more recently, the New York Times best-selling Last Hundred Years trilogy: Some Luck, Early Warning, and Golden Age. She is also the author of several works of nonfiction and books for young adults. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she has also received the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award for Literature. Jane lives in Northern California.

David Francis, based in Los Angeles where he works for the Norton Rose Fulbright law firm, spends part of each year back on his family’s farm in Australia. He is the author of The Great Inland Sea, published to acclaim in seven countries, and Stray Dog Winter, Book of the Year in The Advocate, winner of the American Library Association Barbara Gittings Prize for Literature, and a LAMBDA Literary Award Finalist. He has taught creative writing at University of California, Los Angeles, Occidental College, and in the Masters of Professional Writing program at University of Southern California. His short fiction and articles have appeared in publications including Harvard Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, Southern California Review, Best Australian Stories 2012 and 2014, Australian Love Stories, Los Angeles Times, and The Rattling Wall. He is Vice President of PEN Center USA.


Below, please find links to purchase their books.




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